Designated hitter Matt Oberste and second baseman Jack Mayfield each launched two-run jacks, and the Sooners powered to a 15-8 victory and two-game sweep over the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles Wednesday night at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
Oberste’s and Mayfield’s homers in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively, allowed OU to extend what was an 9-7 lead at the time.
”He threw me a fastball high and in,” Oberste said. “I would say he missed his spot, but we’re not too sure. But, I mean, he left it up. It worked out.”
Before that, ORU had stormed back from down 5-1, eventually notching a four-run fifth to take a short lived 7-6 lead.
In the inning, the Golden Eagles used three hits, two walks and two hit batters to notch their crooked number.
Second baseman Matt Brandy notched an RBI single, a passed ball allowed the second runner to score, then Brandy scored on a bases loaded walk and the final run of the inning came when first baseman Chris Williams sprinted home on another passed ball.
OU, though, quickly regained the lead in the bottom half when catcher Dylan Neal ripped a two-run single into left.
”Dylan Neal is such a better hitter, and I attribute that to Rich Hills,” said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. “The job he’s doing with our hitters is really remarkable.”
Left fielder Hunter Haley’s RBI groundout made it 9-7, and the Sooners poured it on from there.
ORU designated hitter Tyler Boss’ sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth trimmed the advantage to 13-8, but the Sooners added two more in the home half.
That came courtesy of Oberste raising his average to .500 23 games into the season with a rope double to center that capped off a 3-for-4 performance.
”Crazy, crazy,” Golloway said. “Obe[rste] is probably the best hitter I’ve seen. And I told Obe after that first and second weekend, ‘Are you gonna be a guy that can handle prosperity?’ And still remains to be seen because now this preseason is over.”
Designated hitter Kolbey Carpenter followed with a sacrifice fly, and second baseman Hector Lorenzana plated Oberste on an ensuing RBI double.
The Golden Eagles took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first on left fielder Logan Domenico’s RBI single.
OU responded with five unanswered runs, including one each in the first and second on Oberste’s and Mayfield’s sacrifice flies.
Lorenzana added a two-run single in the third, and catcher Mac James recorded an RBI groundout, all as part of a Sooner offense that scored in every inning.
”You know what? We needed to,” Golloway said. “I mean, going 15 innings yesterday, our offense knew. And it’s spring break, so we get to work a little extra with our guys and that’s why I mentioned it and I think we need to mention Rich Hills is our hitting coach.”
ORU began to trim into it in the fourth with a pair of runs, while Oberste ran OU’s count to 6-3 with his second of four RBIs on a single to left in the bottom half.
Billy Waltrip, in relief of starter Kyle Hayes, picked up the win for the Sooners after throwing just 11 strikes out of 27 pitches.
He walked two and struck out three in an inning.
Reliever Jeff Gunter, who surrendered three earned runs on three hits and a walk in one inning, suffered the loss for ORU.
OU gets back to action with its Big 12 Conference opener against TCU at 2 p.m. Friday.
”Well, it’s huge,” Golloway said. “They’re gonna come in here 1-2 and so they’re kinda behind it as far as feeling like they’ve got to get a good start because they got beat two games to one by Kansas. And they haven’t gotten off to a good start. Now, they’re on the road at a nationally ranked team, and we’ve had a great rivalry outside of conference.
”Now, we’re gonna have it inside conference, so we’ll be ready.
I mean, our arms are power arms on the weekend and theirs are, too.”
Jonathan Gray will be on the hill for OU, with Dillon Overton and Adam Choplick to follow Saturday and Sunday, respectively.